by Texas Gray Wolf, Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:57:10 AM EDT
Time is reporting that the McCain campaign believes that it's unimportant that Sarah Palin do media interviews, that people do not care if she does them, and is laying the groundwork for a process in which she won't:
According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don't care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace -- in an appearance I did with her this morning on Joe Scarborough's show -- the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin's scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads.
This is absolutely unacceptable, and we need to make the point as strongly as possible. This is a candidate for the second-highest office in the country, one that most people know little to nothing about. There's no way the American people will ever get a reasonable understanding of her ability to step in as Commander In Chief without a process of open questions and answers. There's no way we will get answers about the many questions over her record if there is no forum in which she can be expected to provide answers.
Again: this is not a minor office. There is a very real possibility that John McCain will not serve out his term in office, should he reach the Presidency. The very idea that we could wind up with a President who has never been through a normal campaign process should just plain be unacceptable.
It's happened once before, with Gerald Ford, and it took a national scandal and two resignations for that to happen. In addition, Ford's appointment required confirmation by majority vote of both houses of Congress, which at least constitutes a reasonable, if unusual, vetting process. This is not that circumstance.
We are in a normal election process with two months to go before we vote. We should not, as a nation, even consider placing someone in a position of immediate succession to the Presidency who has never been through a normal series of open exchanges with the media and with voters. The very idea redefines reckless endangerment of the nation. The word of a few campaign officials within one of the two parties is NOT sufficient.
This is not about Sarah Palin. It's not about Republicans. I would feel exactly the same if Obama had chosen someone obscure as his nominee and was reportedly planning to stonewall the media. I'm not saying that Palin has anything to hide -- but acting this way certainly makes it appear that she does. I'm not saying she can't handle the sorts of interviews there should be -- but acting this way certainly makes it appear that she cannot.
I truly hope that this is a case of one McCain campaign official saying the wrong thing. I hope that they wouldn't even consider such a course of action. This is utterly lacking in "honor", by whatever definition one chooses. This is not putting America First. It's certainly not Politics As Usual, at least -- no one previously would have had the audacity to suggest such a thing.
Senator McCain promised last night in his speech that: "my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability." Unless he means that new standard to be that it will be even less transparent and accountable than the current Bush Administration, this is not the way to embark on that goal.
Transparency starts at the top. This is anything but.
And it is absolutely unacceptable.